NIS Stories

Summer is for Reading! - Part 2

A brick building with an inviting wooden door.On the busy “Inner Ring” road, a few blocks north of Imaike intersection (and Imaike station!), sits a building with a uniquely inviting facade, standing out against the other run-of-the-mill offices, cafes, and shops. What lies behind the cozy wooden door is a wonderland of books, mainly in English, that can transport you to other worlds, assist in a research project, or keep you and your children busy on a rainy afternoon.

Welcome to Imaike Library Club! This unique space is the manifestation of a wonderfully big dream of one of our NIS families - the Hamlitsches. With the help of many in the Nagoya community - particularly their partners, Shigeko Yamada and Richard Hill - they set out to create this unique space with the goal of providing a sustainable international library for the Nagoya community. According to its mission statement, there are three main purposes.

The first is to provide a meeting place for people to gather, communicate, meet new people and learn from each other. Nathan Hamlitsch emphasized that this is one of the main purposes of the space and hopes that people will create gathering and learning opportunities by using the space for meetings or events. Or perhaps just to meet a friend for a cup of coffee and a chat - which is easy to do since the space has a small kitchenette with all the equipment needed and comfy spaces to hang out.

The Library Club also holds periodic author talks and events on a variety of topics and interests. Recently there was a discussion on how to be a “Historical Thinker” by author Eric Gondee. In addition, on the last Sunday of each month, there is a children’s book event with read-alouds, games, and family time. Special events come along, too, like a recent author visit by children’s book author Jacinta Farragher, who introduced everyone to her lead character, Joy, an adventure-seeking, precocious little girl, and her band of interesting animal friends!A table and chairs are surrounded by bookshelves full of books.
The second purpose of the space is to provide opportunities for people to check out English (and a few other languages!) books on a variety of topics - both fiction and non-fiction, answering a real need for a community that has always had to rely on purchasing the books they wanted to read, due to the lack of English books in public libraries. The library has over 10,000 (!) books and an easy search function on its website to assist in finding just the book you are looking for. But one of the wonderful things about this inviting space is the freedom to peruse the shelves looking for a title that jumps out at you!

Finally, Nathan, a university lecturer, realized that there was a real need for access to academic books that are often prohibitively costly but absolutely necessary if you need to use them for research projects and papers. Nathan experienced this himself and wanted to add to the academic reading access for his colleagues and students. There is a wide variety of books on various social sciences and humanities fields, including history and economics, and also a sizable basic sciences section, including physics and biology.

With the tagline “a library of the people, by the people, and for the people,” you can be assured of a warm welcome and understand that this place was built with “community” in mind. Membership has its perks and responsibilities to treat it as if it were your own…because it kind of is! But don’t take it too seriously. As a “non-shush” zone and housing a fun zone for kids, it’s more of a talking and ‘being’ space than your traditional library and reading space. You can find out how to become a member at their website HERE. This could be the perfect place to relax and spend some quality time with your children during the summer break and help support the continuation of this important community space!

Read On